Entertainment law, including copyright and trademark law, can be extremely complex. While infringement on one’s intellectual property rights can easily be seen in some cases, in other instances the actions in question seem to skirt around the blurry edges of what is deemed legal. In both scenarios, all parties involved need competent legal representation to make sure they are protecting themselves as fully as possible. After all, there can be extensive financial resources, credit, and reputation on the line.
These issues may be front and center in a recently filed trademark infringement lawsuit right here in California. The complaint, filed by famed rock bank Iron Maiden, claims that videogame maker 3D Realms infringed its creative and source-identifying work when it made a game titled “Ion Maiden.” In the lawsuit, the band claims that the video game’s title will likely confuse consumers as to Iron Maiden’s affiliation and contributions to the game.
But the lawsuit doesn’t stop there. Iron Maiden also claims that the videogame maker infringed upon the band’s logo with its own design. Additionally, the video game’s main character, Shelley Harrison, is claimed to be a misappropriation of the likeness of one of Iron Maiden’s members, Steve Harris. The videogame maker believes the claim is frivolous and plans to fight the allegations.
The outcome of this dispute can have serious ramifications for either party. For the band, it may feel like its creative work is being ripped off without compensation. The game maker, on the other hand, may feel like it isn’t being allowed the creative freedom it needs to pursue its interests. A lot will depend on the arguments made at the negotiation table and in court, which is why having a skilled entertainment law attorney on either side may make all the difference.